The Dim-Post

January 22, 2014

Winston Peters is not that unpopular

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 9:32 am

Via the Herald:

Outlining which parties National could work with, Mr Key said he would prefer to continue working with Act, the Maori Party and United Future after this year’s election but could add Colin Craig’s Conservative Party.

However, he would not rule out NZ First.

From the 2011 NZES, a ranking of how unlikable New Zealand’s political leaders are:

likability

This will have jumped around a little bit since then. John Banks will be even more unpopular than Don Brash, and whoever takes over ACT will start off at at-least Brash like levels of public opprobrium. Peter Dunne will now be very unpopular (funny the way Dunne ‘negotiated’ his Revenue Minister portfolio as part of a post-election deal but now gets doled out Conservation, Associate Health and Internal Affairs as part of a standard government reshuffle, just like any other National MP. Another sign that the United Future ‘Party’ is just another of National’s Potemkin parties.)

I assume Colin Craig is at Brash/Harawira heights of loathing or higher.

Peters was only slightly more unpopular in 2008 (41%). If you’re going to rule in Colin Craig, Peter Dunne and ACT then you might as well suck it up and rule in Winston Peters as well. It’s not going to cost you anything and it might mean you get to be Prime Minister for another three years.

If this is bad news for anyone I’d say its bad news for Colin Craig. Older crankier, racister soft-National voters can vote for New Zealand First safe in the knowledge that they’re not explicitly voting for a Labour-led government.

28 Comments »

  1. This is good news for David Cunliffe.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — January 22, 2014 @ 9:42 am

  2. “funny the way Dunne ‘negotiated’ his Revenue Minister portfolio as part of a post-election deal but now gets doled out Conservation, Associate Health and Internal Affairs as part of a standard government reshuffle, just like any other National MP”

    Yes, a thousand times yes. What the fuck?

    “Just a like a McDonalds limited time offer” – This (paraphrased) sound bite from David Cunliffe on RNZ this morning further cements him as my current most disliked leader.

    Comment by Andrew M — January 22, 2014 @ 10:25 am

  3. Well, he was already Associate Conservation Minister and Associate Health Minister before he resigned. So, after his time in the naughty corner, he’s basically lost Revenue and gotten Internal Affairs instead. It’s probably just what was available to give Peter Dunne his old career politician salary back. Apparently Chris Tremain (former Minister of Internal Affairs) is retiring at the upcoming election.

    Internal Affairs seems a weirdly risky choice given recent events, though. From Stuff: “I am very much looking to returning to the Internal Affairs portfolio [–snip–] including working with the Government chief information officer in the modernisation and upgrading of the Government’s IT services, and in particular ensuring proper protection for privacy and security of personal information.”

    Who knows what that actually means given the contrast between what he allegedly did and what he ended up voting for.

    Comment by izogi — January 22, 2014 @ 10:59 am

  4. > This is good news for David Cunliffe.

    How so?

    Comment by Ross — January 22, 2014 @ 11:18 am

  5. Man, I remember when we threw a Potemkin party in my student days in Dunedin. Everyone came dressed as their favourite Soviet admiral, and at the end of the night we tipped a pram full of empty Kristov bottles down the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral. I wish United Future was more like that, and less like our counterrevolutionary running dog of a neighbour who called noise control.

    Comment by Higgs Boatswain — January 22, 2014 @ 11:32 am

  6. ‘If you’re going to rule in Colin Craig, Peter Dunne and ACT then you might as well suck it up and rule in Winston Peters as well. It’s not going to cost you anything’

    Except of course the votes of people who believed you when you claimed to be ruling him out on principle on two previous occasions. If any such people exist.

    Comment by Adrian — January 22, 2014 @ 11:54 am

  7. And it might split the soft blue idiot vote between Craig and Peters. Poo fingering both of their chances of getting over 5 %. Fairly smart IMO

    Comment by Russell Beaumont — January 22, 2014 @ 12:52 pm

  8. So when the Right shout “Eeuuurgh! Wussel!!111!!”, in the belief that the voters will vomit their loathing in unison, they are actually targeting the least unpopular leader in the country.

    Conclusion: don’t base your campaign strategy on echo-chambers.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — January 22, 2014 @ 12:56 pm

  9. Sammy, or the leader with the lowest public profile in 2011

    Comment by Andrew M — January 22, 2014 @ 1:05 pm

  10. For this chart to be remotely useful, you need to break down the percentage by party vote affiliation.

    My expectation would be that the non-ruling-out of Peters matters more than the other leaders, because there is likely to be large chunk of voters who dislike him that are National party-voters. By contrast, I would expect that most/all of those who dislike Dunne are Lab/Gre voters, so there is little downside to National working with He of Glorious Hair.

    Comment by Phil — January 22, 2014 @ 1:19 pm

  11. Norman has got a bit more annoying in the last 3 years though. To be fair, I mostly blame Gareth Hughes.

    Comment by Gregor W — January 22, 2014 @ 1:49 pm

  12. Actually yeah, on a second look I’m quite amazed that Russel Norman drew fewer Dislikes than anyone else on that list. Especially given how many people now appear to hate his guts in principle, or at least think he’s an idiot wanting to print money, or cite the latter to justify the former and then mix it with a claim that he’ll certainly be the Minister of Finance should Labour be running the next government.

    Comment by izogi — January 22, 2014 @ 2:31 pm

  13. The depiction of the Greens as crazy and dangerous is a meme the corporate media has been trying to generate for a while now, as they realise that the Green Party has a good chance of destroying the neoliberal agenda for NZ.
    As the Green MPs show reason, good manners and discipline in house debates, it’s hard for this to catch on with the public.
    The crazies are on the right.

    Comment by Paul — January 22, 2014 @ 2:36 pm

  14. I, for one, would be very surprised if Russel Norman were ever the Minister of Finance under a Labour-led government. Nothing comparable has happened since Jim Bolger caved and allowed Winston Peters to be Treasurer for a couple of years after that election (with Bill Birch remaining as MoF), but everyone’s learned a lot about MMP, and making useful coalitions, since then.

    Comment by izogi — January 22, 2014 @ 2:46 pm

  15. @izogi. This might be different if the second party in a coalition got 10 to 15 % of the vote.
    The more votes the Greens get, the greater leverage they’ll have.
    Labour will need them.

    Comment by Paul — January 22, 2014 @ 3:06 pm

  16. @Paul – it really all depends on who else the NZLP have to do a deal with to get into govt.

    If they only need the GP, more leverage.
    GP+ others, more tradeoff required as any coalition becomes more diluted.

    Comment by Gregor W — January 22, 2014 @ 3:17 pm

  17. Yes perhaps. I’m not sure it’s automatic, though, and as GregorW points out the Green Party aren’t in the best position to barter for everything. Right now it still needs Labour to have a hope of doing anything. Meanwhile, Peter Dunne, in 2005, managed to keep the Green Party completely out of Cabinet whilst scoring his own Ministerial position, despite his party only having half as many seats at the time. But Labour needed him, and realistically the Green Party also needed him if it was going to be able to have any influence on policies it cared about.

    I’d never say never because strange things have happened, but I seriously can’t see the Labour Party treating Russel Normal as being appropriately qualified to be a full-on Minister of Finance. As importantly, I don’t think the Green Party would expect him to be, either. He’s their Finance spokesperson because the GP needs to have a Finance spokesperson, but can anyone point to any official GP sources which express an intent for him to be a future Minister of Finance?

    Maybe he’d be given some kind of dumbed down Associate MoF position in which he’s not solely responsible for any substantial decisions.

    Comment by izogi — January 22, 2014 @ 3:39 pm

  18. It was about one month ago that John Key stated that Colin Craig says outrageous things and you have to be wary that that’s the kind of politician he is. So Key’s saying that he could add Craig as a coalition partner? I used to think it was the minor parties that were the political prostitutes, now I feel it may be the other way around.

    Comment by Daniel Lang — January 22, 2014 @ 3:50 pm

  19. Norman as Minister of Finance is one of those desperate bogeymen that anybody can believe in, provided they refuse to give it a moment’s thought.

    In the event that they have such a moment to spare, they would have to consider the likelihood of the following statement, in December 2014:

    “Today the Green Party fully endorses the decision of its co-leader, Russel Norman, to force another election because he doesn’t want to be Minister of Transport/Environment/Infrastructure/whatever …”

    Probability: zero. And that’s just Green voters, never mind the rest of the country.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — January 22, 2014 @ 4:00 pm

  20. Does it matter if 60-70% of the country absolutely loathes you if more than 5% thinks you’re worth voting for? In the case of somebody like Peters or Craig, at times they revel in their unpopularity as a way of shoring up the loyal base.

    Comment by alex — January 22, 2014 @ 4:00 pm

  21. “Meanwhile, Peter Dunne, in 2005, managed to keep the Green Party completely out of Cabinet whilst scoring his own Ministerial position, despite his party only having half as many seats at the time. ”

    I thought it was Winston Peters who did this. Dunne did not have the leverage to do so. Labour needed Winston to form any government and they could take the Green support for granted. Also the Labour caucus – from the highest to the lowest – deeply distrusted the Greens and continued to do so throughout that term. They were not unhappy Winston made it a condition of the deal.

    Why would the Greens want the Minister of Finance’s job? I would have thought economic development, energy, foreign affairs and trade, maori affairs, conservation, environment or primary industry were more attractive. I don’t see anyone in the Greens with the mental bandwidth and people skills to be a successful Finance Minister in a first term coalition with Labour, even if they have the grunt to demand the job. Maybe in a second term perhaps?

    Comment by Tinakori — January 22, 2014 @ 5:17 pm

  22. I think they gave Dunne internal affairs because he’s held the position before.

    Anyway, there are some hefty assumptions in this post, chiefly that both Craig and a new ACT leader must be loathed. Is there a reason to guess this, other than that the author doesn’t like their parties?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — January 22, 2014 @ 5:45 pm

  23. Re: the Greens thing, there has been a lot of argument on this blog over the degree to which the Greens need Labour and Labour need the Greens. Many have outlined scenarios in which the Greens withdraw support from Labour, leading to a National-led minority government taking power, and are rewarded for it by the voters (despite the National-led government implementing policies Green voters dislike). I find this scenario implausible – or at least, the last part implausible.

    Usually minor parties don’t get very good portfolios, but it’s been a long time since a minor party in government had a decent share of the vote – both National and Labour have preferred to get into bed with minnows. The last time a party with a substantial share of the vote was in coalition it was NZ First post 2005, and they did indeed get a major portfolio – Foreign Affairs. So it’s at least conceivable that a Green party with a big share of the vote (10%+) could demand a very weighty cabinet portfolio, although Labour would fight tooth and nail to hang on to Finance.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — January 22, 2014 @ 5:49 pm

  24. Tinakori: “I thought it was Winston Peters who did this.”

    I’ll take your word for it as I can’t find a specific reference. I’m fairly sure that Peter Dunne has also had very strongly held views, but perhaps NZ First also had much to do with it.

    Comment by izogi — January 22, 2014 @ 5:56 pm

  25. The Greens would hate Finance. Finance would be bound by collective responsibility across government —- because, after all, Finance must be willing to back every dollar spent, otherwise it’s a disaster. And Labour would have a majority both on the Cabinet committee and Cabinet as a whole. So the Labour Associate Finance minister (i.e David Parker) would write policy, sign it off at Cabinet, and then the Green Finance minister would have to front it.

    On the other hand, Deputy PM is a pretty plausible role for the Greens.

    Comment by Keir — January 22, 2014 @ 7:55 pm

  26. @Keir: I think that any coalition partner that gets over 8% can expect to get a Deputy PM. But in and of itself, Deputy PM is not really a substantive role.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — January 22, 2014 @ 9:13 pm

  27. I seem to recall opponents of MMP arguing the over influence of minor parties.

    If we want MMP then maybe we need to stop the oh-my-god-crazy-small-party-destroys-democracy thing.

    The major parties have to do deals with the smaller ones. It’s an intended reality of MMP.

    The claim that this means it’s all batshit crazy is just a longing for the FPP past.

    Comment by NeilM — January 22, 2014 @ 10:42 pm

  28. If we want MMP then maybe we need to stop the oh-my-god-crazy-small-party-destroys-democracy thing.

    The claim that this means it’s all batshit crazy is just a longing for the FPP past.

    You’re going to have to point to who you are being all stern and patronising towards, because I’m not seeing these sentiments in this thread.

    Nice general advice, but.

    Comment by Flashing Light — January 23, 2014 @ 8:17 am


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: